Prudence Pitch

11:00 13/05/2019 |

Total post : 756

Keywords adds 45 more developers with the acquisition of Tokyo-based Wizcorp

(Business) The deal was one of 11 acquisitions that added nearly 750 employees in the past year. While other game companies have been cutting back, Keywords has been expanding and bringing the lower costs of outsourcing to more game companies around the world.



With the Wizcorp deal, Keywords picked up developers with experience in mobile games and HTML5 technologies. I spoke with Hansali as well as Christopher Kennedy, regional managing director for Keywords Studios in Asia, in an interview. We talked about trends in both outsourcing and Japanese game development.

Established in 2008, Wizcorp has provided game development as a service to Japanese publishers and developers including LINE, Square Enix, Avex, and Yahoo Japan.

Keywords and Wizcorp have been talking together for a while about the potential of doing this deal. For some background, this is actually our second acquisition related to Ankama, a France-based games publisher. Three years ago we acquired their player support team, which was located in Manila, in the Philippines. It was a team of about 20 or 25 people. We took that over and provided the same continuous support to Ankama, and then built a larger business organically around that. We now have more than 700 people in the Philippines.

When Guillaume and I met and started discussing things, it seemed like the perfect sort of deal. In Japan, Keywords currently has more than 300 people employed. It’s a very diverse team doing many different services. Roughly 40 percent of the team is Japanese. The rest is a mix of 20-plus other nationalities. Guillaume’s team at Wizcorp has a very similar feel to it. It’s about half Japanese and half a mix of other diverse talents. It felt like a very good match in terms of culture, and a way to bring development services into Keywords in Japan through an international team that would allow for quick synergies and easy synchronization. The development team is currently very global, so Guillaume and his team offered a way to bring this team along with a lot of good communications.

In mobile games, Japanese games fully native apps, and also HTML5 and other technologies, but they moved away from the futurephones a long time ago. The games are competing very nicely and doing well. It’s a booming market that continues to do well in Japan, but Japanese IP is also making a large impact in Asia and America and Europe. The free flow of games across different platforms and the growth of the Japanese IP is impressive.


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